Gracefully broken…

A few weeks ago I felt this sting in my heart. No, I’m not talking about when I had chest pains due to stress, I’m talking about a few weeks before that when my heart fluttered to a different beat. It fluttered to the beat of my husband. My heart was in sync with his and I felt a deep pang for him. I noticed it because the rhythm was so much unlike my own. Now, granted, I don’t sit and listen to the beat of my own heart, but I do know how it feels and what I felt that particular day was not my own beat. It was faster at some points and then a bit slower at others. It sped up as I realized that it was not my own… and then went faster still when I realized that it was my husband’s rhythm. When I realized it was his heartbeat, I smiled and thought passionately about him. I felt his face in my hands and I smelled the aroma that belongs to him alone. It was such an amazing experience. One that my mind thought about just a few moments ago, prompting me to write this post. Thoughts of him cause my heart to do cartwheels within its space between my lungs.

Oh, and speaking of lungs, my breathing changes in these moments when I think of him. It is hard for me to catch my breath and I struggle to think clearly. That is how I know the Holy Spirit facilitates my writing because I cannot think clearly when my husband is on my mind, yet I am typing and writing right now. Whew, this husband of mine! I have to actively sit still and take deep breaths so that I can try to convince my heart to beat at its own rhythm and convince my lungs to take in air properly. I offer the gentle reminder, “we have to be well for him, body; act right!” Ok, maybe that last part isn’t very gentle but you get my point. My body has to understand that it’s ok for my mind to think of my husband in his absence, but my heart, lungs, and the other vital organs still need to function. LOL, look at me making demands of my body like I’m God or something!


So on this day a few weeks ago I felt my husband like never before. I think about him often but this was different. I could literally feel him! I could feel every stubble of hair on his face from his beard that he had just shaved clean. I could see into his deep, dark brown eyes. I could smell his manliness, his unique smell, reminding me of God’s grace. I could taste his essence as he softly kissed me. I could hear his deep, yet soothing voice as he gently said my name. This is what happens to me whenever I think about him. I feel like a kid in kindergarten as I recall every sense that the human body is able to perceive. Sight. Touch. Taste. Hearing. Smelling. All five of my senses were activated and working as my heart beat to his rhythm. All five senses reacted to the uniqueness that is my husband, my God-given love of my life. All five senses pulsated with recognition as I remember my husband doing what he was created to do- love on me. All five senses responded accordingly to the thought of my husband, even though we were not physically in the same room.

All five senses.
All five.
Well, actually six… because I do not actually know my husband…
Yet.


I know, you probably think that I am cray-cray right now. I mean, really, who senses a spouse that they haven’t even met yet? Trust me, I get how ridiculous it must sound and how peeved you probably are right now as you realized that you just read all of that just to find out that I haven’t even met this man yet. But he is real and very much real to me. He is permanently engraved on my heart and we are forever bonded together through Christ. He is mine and I am his, united in holy matrimony by none other than God Himself. We have said our vows to one another as we say our prayers to God every day. We have had some rough and bumpy moments in our marriage, moments where we had to call on the name of the Jesus just to make it through the next second and then stop to think before speaking our next words. We have had some amazing moments where we just stayed up all night, laughing and joking like young babes newly in love. We aren’t perfect by any means. He still does things that my OCD-self can’t stand and I know my OCD-tail drives him bonkers. But in love, we push aside the small things and press towards the greater that God has for us.

It was our prayer life that united us. In fact, it is because of our individual prayer lives that I can feel him now. We each spend a considerable amount of time praying, going to God with our petitions for the other. Personally, I know I pray often that God would bless him throughout his work day because I know his job can be trying and stressful. And I can feel him praying off every other man who would even dare encroach on his rib. Together we are not perfect Christians, but we are praying Christians who are just crazy enough to believe that our God will do just what His Word says He will do.


When I started writing this post I was in church, off to the side in the back as my niece and the youth dance ministry rehearsed. I sat with a blank screen, unsure of what to do with my time, and a with blank mind. There was nothing there at all. I went over to MSN and started reading a random news story when my heart heard the song that the dancers were rehearsing to. Gracefully Broken by Tasha Cobbs Leonard. I honestly don’t know, but maybe this is our song.

“…Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken…”

Gracefully Broken, Tasha Cobbs Leonard

I can imagine myself saying those words to both God and my husband. As both the bride of Christ and the bride of my husband, I am literally presenting my brokenness to them both, humbly saying that I am not perfect but what I am, I give to them. As the song played, my heart recalled my husband. I looked into his eyes and saw my dreams, my hopes, and our future. Because my husband knows the Lord, he knows that I am coming to him gracefully broken, yet made whole only through Christ. He knows that I am coming to him with flaws and areas of needed growth. And he also knows that I am not coming to him until we are both ready. We both have many things that we must do before the Lord unites us… and I can wait patiently for him because, well, I already know him. As I continue to know God intimately, I know my husband more intimately and he me. Because our individual hearts are so deeply rooted in Christ, one has to know Jesus in a deeper, better, more pure way in order to know the other. We grow deeper together as we grow deeper in Christ. I love this husband of mine. While the love is not exactly the same, his love for me does remind me of Christ’s love for His bride. When I think of our marriage, my heart also recalls Ephesians 5:21-33. My heart knows the passage of scripture well… and so does my husband’s heart.


As I finish off the last of this post, I am home working on a few things before heading to my church’s first softball game. We joined a Christian League and due to the weather, today is the first day that we will play. I was supposed to play on the team… but God has different plans for me. But as I prepare to go and be photographer/cheerleader/member of the peanut gallery, my heart thinks of my husband. I think of how we will look back on this day and smile, as we swing on our front porch. He’ll tell me of the moments when I came to his mind and how his friends reacted to his visions of me. And then, like always, we will simultaneously say, “but my pastor knew all along!” and then we will fall out laughing. I will rest my head on his shoulder and he will wrap his arm around my body. We will swing and sway in the breeze, in the cool of the day, and then I will softly croon…

“…Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken…”

Gracefully Broken, Tasha Cobbs Leonard

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